Enter Golden Tate, who the team snatched away from the Seattle Seahawks just hours into the NFL’s free agent period.
Bring Tate to Motown wasn’t cheap, so it’s possible the team may have a few reservations with the newest request of the former Fightin’ Irish member. Tate wants to return punts.
He says he doesn’t know if he’ll continue to field punts with the Lions, but hopes to compete for those duties.
“Anytime I can get the ball in my hands and try to create a big play, I want it,” Tate said. “I’m not sure what the plan is, as far as the return game goes. I just hope I get the opportunity to prove myself and compete for that job.”
Tate is among the best in the league when it comes to punt returns (though some of that had to do with Seattle’s solid special teams) and would make plenty of sense to put into that role. But, it’s a position that comes with a significant amount of injury risk and it’s not known if the Lions want to risk their investment by returning punts, especially when Jeremy Ross (who returned punts last season) looked very formidable doing such.